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Old 11-19-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Unhappy having problems with my 4wd

I have a 98 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sport 4.0, manual shift, and for a long time I thought I was using my 4wd L wrong because at first when I reached about 5 mph it would grind gears and I would be put into neutral. I used 4wd H for a long time after, which did fine for me, except now I am getting into tougher conditions and I am looking back to using my 4wd L. I have been able to use it pass 5 mph now but it still kicks me out fairly often, so I have to stop and reengage it. Really puts a damper when it happens climbing and it puts me in situations I don't feel comfortable in. I haven't engaged it while moving 2-3 mph, always while I am stopped, not sure if this is a problem with lining the linkage up or not. I have heard my linkage might be off from reading other threads but their problems seemed different. Am I doing something wrong to engage my 4 L, as I have always had this problem, or do I need to get my linkage/ transfer case checked out?

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
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It could just need a linkage adjustment. Crawl underneath with a 1/2" wrench on the driver's side and look up and over the back of the transfer case. You will see a bolt on the upper linkage. Loosen that bolt, then make sure your shift lever is pushed all the way forward (down) in the cab. Then pull the rod that goes past that bolt as far back as it will go, then tighten the bolt.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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Cool, Thanks for the quick reply Dennis. I'll work with this in the morning and see if anything changes.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
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I followed the steps, got it to move about a half cm or so. Tried it it 4H first and all was as usual, all working fine, then attempted 4L and first while moving at a crawl, couldn't really go any slower, and the gears just ground up and refused to engage. I tried it at a stop then, and made it about 500 meters until it made a loud cliking sound which came from it kicking me out of 4L and putting me into neutral. This is the usual, so I decided one shot was all I needed. Also, am I supposed to be shifting at the regular rpms I shift at when in 2wd. I was shifting at about 2000 rpms and made it up to about 23mph in 5th gear. Then it kicked me out.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Dog View Post
It could just need a linkage adjustment. Crawl underneath with a 1/2" wrench on the driver's side and look up and over the back of the transfer case. You will see a bolt on the upper linkage. Loosen that bolt, then make sure your shift lever is pushed all the way forward (down) in the cab. Then pull the rod that goes past that bolt as far back as it will go, then tighten the bolt.
Nice write up.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:25 PM   #6
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the factory way is to loosen the 1/2 inch bolt and pull the handle all the way UP to 4lo and tighten the link. first try every time.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19gnx87 View Post
the factory way is to loosen the 1/2 inch bolt and pull the handle all the way UP to 4lo and tighten the link. first try every time.
Alright, cool. I'll try this soon. Might not be for a couple days, Going to be out of town. But thanks for the reply. Peace
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvhouzilai View Post
the factory way is to loosen the 1/2 inch bolt and pull the handle all the way UP to 4lo and tighten the link. first try every time.
Quote:
19gnx87 says >>the factory way is to loosen the 1/2 inch bolt and pull the handle all the way UP to 4lo and tighten the link. first try every time.

UNLESS I'M not seeing something here with this procedure, I'm thinking a step has been left out.
I have always performed the Adj in the above manner, but with one more step.
FIRST → Loosen the Nut on the Linkage Rod.
Second → Place 4WD Lever in 4WL
Third → (the step left out) Push on Linkage Rod (towards the front of
the Jeep) to be sure T/C is indeed COMPLETELY in 4WD Low range

Fourth → Re-Tighten the Nut on the Rod.
Final → Test Drive in all positions.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19gnx87 View Post
the factory way is to loosen the 1/2 inch bolt and pull the handle all the way UP to 4lo and tighten the link. first try every time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoyoteOn2 View Post
UNLESS I'M not seeing something here with this procedure, I'm thinking a step has been left out.
I have always performed the Adj in the above manner, but with one more step.
FIRST → Loosen the Nut on the Linkage Rod.
Second → Place 4WD Lever in 4WL
Third → (the step left out) Push on Linkage Rod (towards the front of
the Jeep) to be sure T/C is indeed COMPLETELY in 4WD Low range

Fourth → Re-Tighten the Nut on the Rod.
Final → Test Drive in all positions.

ACTUALLY REVERSING First and Second STEPS would be IDEAL
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Old 11-30-2013, 11:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 19gnx87 View Post
the factory way is to loosen the 1/2 inch bolt and pull the handle all the way UP to 4lo and tighten the link. first try every time.
Alright, so I followed these steps, and so far it seems to be working great in 4L, however, each option on the 4wd shifter seems to be quite far forward. Now 4 H is half way between where it starts out stock and 2wd, and neutral and 4 L positions are relative to that. Not sure if this will create problems but so far, haven't taken it out on the trails yet, just around the block, I haven't had problems with being taken forcefully out of 4wd. I hope to hit up some close trails soon to give it the ultimate test.
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Old 12-01-2013, 11:16 AM   #11
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Not to say that throwing money at a problem is always the best solution but I can tell you that the novak cable shifter kit totally solved this problem for me when the above steps did not. One of the best upgrades I ever did.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:25 PM   #12
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Update on the issue:
I have driven a couple trails/dirt-roads, and thus far no auto disengagement of any kind has taken place. I used a variety of speeds, but haven't gotten to do any crawling of some sort. That will be my next test, but so far as I can tell, this issue has ceased to exist.

I will look into The Novak cable shifter, check to see if it is something I would be interested in regardless of the somewhat fix. Does it improve the performance of 4wd or is it just an alternative system to shift between 4wd and 2wd?
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:54 PM   #13
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It is an alternate system to shift your transfer case. I began having problems after my suspension lift. The shifter kicked out a few times on me and would start grinding. The problem with the stock linkage is that it is attached to the body, so if the body and frame are flexing independently of each other the shifter can get kicked out. After I installed it those problems went away. So for me, it did improve the performance.

The cable also gives a much more solid and precise feel when shifting. Its just a really great upgrade no matter what you plan on doing with your build.
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoyoteOn2 View Post
... Push on Linkage Rod (towards the front of the Jeep) ...
Push the bar that the retaining nut tightens?
Since there are several rods down there, I want to make sure that I am pushing on the correct one.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:27 AM   #15
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i did leave out that you do need to manually put the transfer case in to 4lo when you make the adjustment. coyoteon2 is the right way
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:37 PM   #16
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my 4hi won't attempt to engage and 4low grinds and won't engage.

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4wd , 4wd l issues , four wheel drive , grinding gears

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